Haemanthus albiflos

White Paintbrush

Haemanthus albiflos

These bears a darling little white paintbrush-like flower in winter. It pushes out from glossy strap like green leaves – quite different. This is followed by fruits that turn red and simply glow in the shade – they are quickly snapped up by birds in my garden. They like a rich soil with lots of leaf litter, so remember not to rake up your garden beds. The thrushes and robins love to scratch for insects in this leafy layer.

How to use in the garden:

Perfect for the smallest space, just one or two of each will be lovely in a townhouse garden, in a pot or the shade of a tree or wall. In larger gardens plant them in great swathes under trees – the White Paintbrush will look beautiful massed in front of the Glossy Forest Lily. You could add Clivias and Scadoxus species (Snake Lily) for a spring show. Shade need never be difficult again!

The Gardener